McClatchy - Truth to Power
Dangerous Afghan highway threatens NATO supply flow
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
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Insurgents have blown up a dozen bridges, six causeways and 85 culverts, according to U.S. officials. There were nearly 300 attacks on the road in a recent five-week period, mostly on armed convoys that were carrying goods for NATO forces. The Taliban have set up checkpoints to demonstrate their control of the highway.
The Kabul-Kandahar highway, part of the ring road that links Afghanistan's major cities, is a symbol of the American commitment to encourage commerce and put the country on its feet. The U.S. spent $1 billion to rebuild the ring road, and an estimated 35 percent of the country's population lives within 30 miles of the Kabul-Kandahar stretch.
The International Security Assistance Force said there were about 90 improvised-bomb strikes, 120 bombs found and 290 armed attacks on the highway from May 6 to June 10.